Hello fellow RUWMI activists!
We decided to remain silent on President’s Day to honor past presidents and to set an example for the current one who never knows when to remain silent (and when and what to speak up about)! We are back this morning with a newsletter chock full of information to help you take action this week.
Happy Birthday to us! – Officially we are marking Friday Feb 23, as our birthday as it is the anniversary of our first meeting. My have we grown and evolved since then. We here at RUWMI are so grateful to each and every one of you for joining us this year. We look forward to working together to make more positive changes in 2018!
We are hosting two events – please mark your calendars.
February 26th 6:30 PM – Drinking Liberally at Uno’s by the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield. This is our birthday party. Come join us and celebrate! Details can be found here or in the event section below.
March 19th 6:30 PM – Chicopee Public Library. We will be hosting Tahirah Amatul-Wadud who is running for Congress against Richie Neal. She will join us to talk about her platform and answer our questions. Details can be found here or in the event section below.
- RUWMOneSmallThing – The news of yet another mass shooting (and the notion that we can even write the phrase “another mass shooting”) means it’s time for the grassroots movements to fix what DC won’t.This week’s #RUWMOneSmallThing, one small thing you can do that will make a difference, is to take at least one action to stem the flood of gun violence in the U.S. Our children’s lives literally depend on it. Here are 6 actions you can take!
- Are you financially supporting the gun industry? If you have stocks in your investment portfolio, you may unwittingly be doing so. You can check here. If you do own some, divest!
- Take this pledge that you will only vote for candidates who support common sense gun laws and will actively work to reduce gun violence
- Attend this organizational and new member meeting of Western MA’s Moms Demand Action – for gun sense in America. Meeting details can be found using this link
- Participate in one of the national actions taking place next month. Thus far the dates are 3/14 (National School Walk-Out), 3/24 (March for our Lives – our local event details below) and 4/20 (National Student Wall-out on the anniversary of Columbine). Watch our Facebook page for more information and links to the events as they become available.
- Watch and share this video
- Since the GOP seems to think that thoughts and prayers are more valuable than legislative action – follow this creative activist’s idea and send your “thoughts and prayers” as a campaign donation to the GOP member of your choice from this list of those who receive NRA money. Here is how you do it. You can either use a check of your own or use these printable postcard “checks”
- Tell your Massachusetts lawmakers: Pass this life-saving bill now! – This action comes to us via Everytown for Gun Safety. Before a tragedy, there are often warning signs. Family and local law enforcement are usually the first to recognize these red flags, but too often, even if they do, there’s no way for them to act to temporarily restrict a potential shooter from accessing guns. That’s why states are taking action to pass laws allowing family members and law enforcement to request an Extreme Risk Protection order in dangerous moments, to temporarily restrict a person’s access to guns because they pose a significant danger to themselves or others. Use this link to send a digital message to our MoCs now.
- Thank your state senator for protecting patient confidentiality – From Planned Parenthood MA. Earlier this week the PATCH bill (An Act to Protect Access to Confidential Health Care), passed the Massachusetts Senate! Because of your activism, a dangerous loophole in patient privacy may soon be closed. Currently in Massachusetts, young adults on their parent’s health insurance or spouses on their partner’s health insurance often pay out-of-pocket or forgo the care they need because their insurance plan will routinely inform their family members of the services they received. Use this link to send a message of thanks to your state senator.
- Help a friend register to vote – Do you have a friend who isn’t registered to vote? Are you registered? You can check your registration status here. Then if you aren’t registered, use this link to register online. Share it widely and encourage anyone who isn’t registered to get registered. Voting is our voice and we need every single voice to be heard this year!
Mark Your Calendars – Upcoming Events
- Who’s Policing the Police? – League of Women Voters/Springfield – Feb 20, 22, and 24 (at various Springfield Locations). With the issue of reinstating a police commission in Springfield still unresolved, the League of Women Voters invites citizens to one of four community forums to explore the options for civilian oversight of our police department. The more diverse the participants, the richer the discussion will be.We will present various models from around the nation and participants will use the National Issues Forums format to make choices with each other about ways to approach this difficult issue, and to work toward creating reasoned public judgment to share with our elected officials as they work to resolve the issue. Questions: Message LWV or call 413-655-1837.
Feb 20, 5:30-8:00PM, Brightwood Library
Feb 22, 5:30-8:00PM, Indian Orchard Community Center
Feb 24, 10:30AM-1:00PM, Springfield Armory
For more information view the event on Facebook.
- Truth School: Re-Imagining the Practice of Social Justice – Feb 24, 9:30AM – 12:00 PM, Easthampton Enrichment Center and Council on Aging, 19 Union St, Easthampton. The influence of the dominant culture in the U.S. on social justice activism and organizing often goes unnoticed. In our culture, busyness, mind over heart, getting immediate results, and overestimating one’s individual power to produce and control are valued more than Being. In this experiential workshop, participants are invited to explore the principles of evolutionary leadership and the implication for enduring social action. Through a combination of exercises and dialogue, participants will consider and make meaning of taking action from the heart center, acting boldly in the face of uncertainty, and surrendering the fruits of action, patience, and fierce compassion. View the event page here.
- Grassroots Lobby Training – Feb 24, 1:00 PM, Lilly Library, 19 Meadow Street, Florence. This purpose of this ACLU People Power Action Event is to help you develop skills to effectively lobby your state legislators. Come to this training to learn: Who your state legislator is and how powerful they are. How a bill becomes a law in Massachusetts and where we are in the legislative calendar. What ACLU bills are most important right now. How to set up a lobbying visit with your legislator and report your results back to the ACLU office.In Massachusetts, we are halfway through a two-year legislative session, which means we have just a few more months to ensure our legislators hear from us. After attending the training, you will be armed with the information and skills you need to visit your legislators and make a real difference! RSVP for the event here.
- The Art of Protest: From Slavery to Civil Rights to Black Lives – Feb 24, 4:00-6:00 PM, Gateway City Arts, 92 Race St, Holyoke. A panel discussion as part of our month-long exhibit: The Art of Protest: From Slavery to Civil Rights to Black Lives Matter. The Art of Protest is planned as a discussion of the nature, role, and influence of protest in the persistent and continuing campaign for equal rights throughout American history. The panelists will talk briefly about their own work as a way to initiate an open-ended conversation in which everyone present is invited to take part as we consider the past, the present, and the future. Click here for more information.
- Senator Warren Fundraising Reception – Feb 25m 4:00 PM, Log Cabin, 500 Easthampton Road, Holyoke. Come support Elizabeth Warren in her campaign for re-election in 2018. You can RSVP and purchase tickets by emailing Molly Doris-Pierce at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or online using this link.
- Working People’s Day of Action Massachusetts – Feb 26, 4:30pm, 95 Liberty St, Springfield. On February 26th, thousands of working people across Massachusetts will join a national day of action as we speak out for good, union jobs. The Working People’s Day of Action coincides with the Supreme Court hearings on the Janus vs. AFSCME case. That case is part of a well-funded campaign by the wealthy special interests to divide us from our co-workers – and to limit the power in numbers we have together in a union. This event is hosted by Massachusetts AFL CIO. You can RSVP to the Facebook event here and also see the times and locations for the other MA actions.
- Drinking “Liberally” as RUWMI Turns 1 – Monday Feb 26, 6:30-8:30 PM, Pizzeria Uno, 820 Hall of Fame Ave (W. Columbus Ave), Springfield (adjacent to the Basketball Hall of Fame). We’ll plan to meet at Uno’s and mark our first birthday by drinking, eating, talking, (and hopefully even laughing) liberally. Drinks (sodas, shakes, and bar beverages) as well as food will be available for purchase as per the Uno’s regular menu. We hope to see you there. Please RSVP via the Facebook event so we can give Uno’s a head’s up as to how many people might show up!
- Labor in the Age of Trump: Fighting the Right-Wing Agenda – March 2-3, Free two-day conference, UMass Amherst Central Campus, Amherst Center, Massachusetts. Free Two-Day Conference. Friday March 2, 9-4: research presentations. Saturday March 3, 10-3: workshops with scholars and activists. Lunch provided with registration https://umass.irisregistration.com/Home/Site?code=LaborConfronts View the event on Facebook to see the list of presenters.
- International Women’s Day March and Speak Up – March 8, 12:00-1:30 PM. Pulaski Park, Northampton. Join your sisters and allies for Pioneer Valley Women’s March annual March and Speak Up in honor of International Women’s Day. We will meet on Hampton Avenue behind Thorne’s in Downtown Northampton then march together to Pulaski Park, culminating in a community Speak Up. For more information view the event on Facebook.
- Meet Congressional Candidate Tahirah Amatul-Wadud – March 19, 7:00-8:30PM, Chicopee Public Library, Community Room, 449 Front St, Chicopee. RUWMI is hosting Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, candidate for Congress, MA-Dist. 1. She will speak about her platform and her vision for Western MA, and will answer your questions. You can learn more about Tahirah on her website. For more information and to RSVP please view the event on Facebook.
- March for Our Lives – March 24, 12:00 PM Northampton High School, 380 Elm St, Northampton. The students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida have called for a nationwide day of action to protest the unending gun violence in the U.S. This is a Northampton, MA March for Our Lives. We’ll meet at Northampton High School and march to Pulaski Park in downtown Northampton. We’ll hear from high school students who have been failed by politicians, gun companies, and the NRA. The march will also feature a “lie in” in Pulaski Park to symbolize the needless deaths of high school students and other victims of American gun violence.The days of “nothing can be done” and “thoughts and prayers” are over. It’s time for sane, rational Americans to work on multiple fronts to end the plague of American gun violence. Join us in registering your outrage. View the event on Facebook here.
- To get the most up to date list of events, go to Rise Up Western Mass’s event calendar here. Also bookmark the National Resistance Calendar for additional events.
From Indivisible National Massachusetts
Last weekend in Worcester, leaders from Indivisible Groups all across MA (every congressional district was represented!) met for the first “official” meeting of Indivisible Massachusetts! This meeting grew from the efforts of the organizers of the Indivisible Mass Conference that was held last November. Part of this effort included creating some regional structure as well (by congressional district) Luckily out here in Western Mass, we had already formed a regional coalition (called the Pioneer Valley Resistance Coalition) which has been meeting regularly for months. Thus, we were well organized to represent our area at the state level.
The following mission statement was adopted at that first Indivisible MA meeting.
Indivisible MA will support and strengthen local groups in their efforts to defend democracy and create progressive change. We will offer the opportunity to coordinate and collaborate on electoral and legislative efforts for maximum impact and provide groups technical assistance and training to help make that impact possible.
The singular goal of Indivisible MA is to provide support and opportunity for greater impact for local groups like ours. We will keep you posted on more from Indivisible MA as it develops.
Keep Your Eyes On
Will there really be a big blue wave in 2018?
- The Thin Blue Wave
- In third bellwether contest, Florida Democrats again carry the day and hope for a blue wave
- Charlie Cook: It’s Clear That A Blue Wave Is Coming
- How Might a 2018 Democratic Wave Affect Governor’s Races?
- The Democrats’ secret weapon to take back statehouses
- The Democratic wave looks like it is getting bigger
Check This Out
Maybe this is why Trump wants to defund PBS?